A Prayer for Broken Moments

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

One soft rug finally pulled the weight out from under me. After an hour-long state of frozen emotion, a stream of hopelessness fell beside the beautiful claw-foot tub. The hand on my shoulder felt familiar and firm, present now as in other periodic breakdowns. Even honest efforts to walk in our calling can leave us vulnerable to the cling of control.

“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” –1 John 5:5

Overcome,“nikao” in the Greek context of this verse, means “to conquer: to carry off the victory, come off victorious.” John wrote his letter during an era in which believers faced death and persecution. The strength to conquer the impossible adversity they faced came from Christ.

When we stand with Jesus, He links arms with us in victory. The release of broken emotions allows us to relinquish control. A lack of forgiveness, extended or accepted, can strangle our efforts to walk in peace. A burden to be strong for others can suffocate our own ability to breathe. Un-illuminated disobedience can leave us feeling as if no effort is good enough.

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A Prayer for God’s Direction

“Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 (NLT)

Direction, “a purpose or orientation toward a goal that serves to guide or motivate,” has an inevitable flow in our lives. In consideration of our daily direction, the above verse from Romans aligns our internal compass with the One who breathes strength and purpose into the very muscles that compel us.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible states that,“conclusions sometimes summarized key points in a work; love is once such point.” When we seek direction, does Love have the final say on our propelled steps? In Matthew Henry’s Commentary, he states many reasons the Corinthians were instructed by Paul to “be on guard.” There were people looking to deceive and corrupt their faith, to manipulate their direction. “A Christian is always in danger, and therefore should ever be on the watch,” Henry stated. Even today, we must stay alert to the current status of our life’s direction.

Our direction stems from faith. Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “stand firm in the faith.” Scripture tells us to take captive every thought, and to align all we hear with the truth of the Gospel. Reading Scripture daily builds godly confidence, preventing the propulsion down a path that doesn’t align with His unique purpose for our lives.

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A Prayer for Perspective

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

Ephesians 3:20

When my little Math whiz runs into a problem she can’t easily solve, it sends her little Irish temper into overdrive. Perspective, “the way you ‘see’ things as a result of who you are and what you do,”drives our daily lives. If we’re operating under the wrong influence, we can travel for long distances before we run out of gas and wonder how we ended up broken down.

Sometimes, just like my little and her minor Math conundrum, we can let small detours completely derail us.

“Take your time and figure it out,”I often remind her, “you’ll figure it out …you’re really good at Math.”

She will inevitably perk up a little as my compliments and encouragement sink in, but the hole in her Math paper remains as she tries to work around it to find the answer.

When minor mistakes and frustrations threaten to launch our temperaments into extremes, we can remind ourselves of the truth of this verse from Ephesians. Surely, our great God who is capable of all things, is not going to let a small mistake or frustration hold us back from the great life He has purposed for us. Not even a hole in our paper, or our plan.

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What This Irish Blessing Means: “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You”

“May the Road Rise Up to Meet You,” an Irish blessing often used as a prayer, has traveled throughout the centuries by musical composition, word of mouth, and even a popular cross-stitch pattern. Being of Irish decent, I once cross-stitched it, myself. I loved the way my Grandmother held onto her Irish roots, passing down traditions and tracing our family roots back to that first cobblestone street in Ireland. But more than roots of heritage, this blessing connects centuries of those who have faithfully hung onto hope through their faith.

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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A Prayer for Those Caught in the Gossip Trap

The fibers in my stomach began to fly off with my lunch as mud slung out of my smartphone speaker. For seven years, I had tried to find the good and lend an understanding nod, until God revealed my agreeability made me guilty of conspiracy. Afraid to come across judgmental, I refused to weigh in directly.

Confidence at a high volume lofted a convincing argument on dishonesty’s behalf, and a strangling hold on the hand of truth that threatened to lurch out of my stomach. I always found something positive to say about the person in vocal peril, but ran the risk of being directly associated with the entirety of the conversation.

“Stay away from ungodly babbling because it will only lead deeper into a godless lifestyle.”1 Timothy 2:16 (VOICE)

Through the Holy Spirit abides in every Christian heart, and the uneasinesses I felt was a warning for me to evacuate that phone call. God is the protector our hearts, alerting us to falsities that attempt to crack through the surface.

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